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Grateful Dead Live at Carousel Ballroom on 1968-01-17

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Grateful Dead Live at Carousel Ballroom on 1968-01-17

Disc 1 (61:14)
set 1:
1. Lovelight (12:02)
2. stage banter (3:19)
3. //Dark Star--> (4:48)
4. China Cat Sunflower*--> (3:20)
5. The Eleven%*--> (9:46)
6. Feedback (0:59)
7. //New Potato Caboose--> (8:35)
8. Born Cross Eyed*--> (2:30)
10. Spanish Jam* (15:50)

Disc 2 (34:29)
set 2:
1. Beat It On Down The Line--> (2:53)
2. Morning Dew (7:40)
3. Cryptical Envelopment--> (1:47)
4. The Other One--> (3:15)
5. Cryptical Envelopment--> (5:04)
6. Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (13:49)

*first known renditions as of July 2002

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Carousel Ballroom
Location San Francisco, CA

Transferred by Jeff Cotsman, Matt Vernon and Raoul Duke


--there may be a second cassette generation in the lineage
--first few notes of Dark Star clipped
--splice @ 7:45 in Eleven
--first few notes of New Potato clipped
--splice @ 11:02 in Schoolgirl

part of The Music Never Stopped Project 2002

Thanks to Raoul Duke
edits/encoding by Matt Vernon & J. Cotsman


Reviewer: Uncle_Meat93 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 15, 2016
Subject: Anywhere I can download this show?

Up until now I had no clue that this show existed and that's been such a pleasant surprise as the Early 1968 "Anthem Of The Sun" shows are among some of my favourites. I notice that none of the copies of the 1968-01-17 show on the archive site are available to download though and I can't seem to find anywhere online that's offering these shows in downloadable format. Does anybody know where I can find this show for downloading? Thanks.
Reviewer: Jatab - - August 12, 2016
Subject: Whammy to natural vibrato
When I first heard their first album, I noticed two things: the speed of everything (at least twice as fast as in live sets) and the annoying vibrato. Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) had different chops and dynamics; I liked that. By the time of 'Anthem' JG had either stop using or unscrewed the whammy bar (from what, I don't know: either a Paul or the red SG he played on Long Island in '69) and achieved one of the greatest, most graceful natural right-hand vibratos ever. Here, he's not there yet, and Weir, esp on 'China Cat,' begins to master that incredibly seductive pick-plus technique that cost me a summer to master.
Reviewer: Amor_Fati - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2015
Subject: first
china cat
the eleven
born cross eyed &
Spanish jam
Reviewer: evxyz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 6, 2013
Subject: DarkStar->ChinaCat->Eleven (first live!*)
68 starts with a bang. Three classics get rousing treatment. There's an appealing rawness here despite technical glitches. The dead I know and love begins here. The show as a whole isn't as smooth as some of the better known shows, but what works, works well. LoveLight->DarkStar->ChinaCat->Eleven all quick and dirty.
Reviewer: Satori70 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 22, 2013
Subject: 45 years ago this week . . .
'My how lovely you are, my dear' My favorite recorded Dead were the shows of this tour/week! Not quite 1/20/68 IMO{Clementine} but damn they were hot again with that ultra-rare BCE, early TOO, an another Spanish goody! Makes you feel like your in the pudding. Well said as always Dude, like rubies and bigger ones. Guess it doesnt matter anyway EZ 5*****

Thank you to Archive, and all the generations of tapers, and preservers of the music ~
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 17, 2013
Subject: --
Irresistible. There are quite a few cuts in the board, but don't let that nor the ghostly, acid-fist-clenching whine of the reels during the quiet moments bother you, either. This isn't the best of winter '68 by any means, but that's like comparing ruby sizes when happening upon buried treasure - rather pointless, considering!

My fave bit of this show has to be the Spanish Jam into Space here that drips drops of that kool-aid bucket. Come on, January '68?! Can't go wrong.
Reviewer: Pangolin22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 21, 2011
Subject: Never mind the flaws
I didn't find the technical/sound issues to be an impediment to enjoying this show.
Mind-blowing performances that display the band in a period of transition as they move into something bigger, better and more mind-expanding. The Dead at their raw, ragged and psychedelic best, working out the kinks in their newly hatched experiments.
Just check out that Spanish Jam and more specifically the feedback at the end - just incredible.
Reviewer: aybesea69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2011
Subject: A Very Good Show...
but it does have some flaws, the biggest of which is a bad soundboard mix that leaves us barely able to hear Bobby's vocals. But the playing more than makes up for the technical problems. A very good China -> Eleven, an outstanding Spanish Jam, alternate words on The Other One (too bad that they are so low in the mix), and a truly 5 star Schoolgirl. Well worth adding to your collection!
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 9, 2011
Subject: Revised 11/8/11
Yes the performances are incipient, but the playing will just knock your socks off.

The last part of the show is spectacular, with fantastically jammed out versions of New Potato, Morning Dew, Cryptical envelopment and Schoolgirl, Cryptical being especially compelling for such an early version. The extended jam in the Eleven is no slouch, either.

But, as Cliff noted, the 16 minute Spanish Jam takes the cake...a definite candidate for the most amazing ever performed, the jam builds to some astonishing peaks. This is NOT a four!!
Reviewer: brotherbuttcrack - - July 30, 2011
Subject: Beat it>Morning Dew?
Does anybody know if Beat It>Morning Dew is in fact from this show? Because it does not appear on the other 2 versions of this show
Reviewer: smokingcratersofthemind - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 16, 2011
Subject: the lightning bolts of illumination shine quick
I know this show well... perhaps its the dynamics of it. A great awakening, as what once slept now awakens. The movements are ALIVE, the Grateful Dead becoming anew as they fully become (and transcend) conciousness going beyond individual thought in the flying ways of pure progression... no drugs needed. The mind is already bent... full circle! Revolving around some deep inner truth released in fully achieved passion... '68 is capturing the sound in an unfathomable way. The depth of sound is, so much like beauty, a vast sea through which we are. Awash in the transcendent passion of a show such as this, you begin to grasp an idea the Dead never really portrayed but more so manifested... shining through the darkened stage is a light of pure noise. They arise from this and go in the myriad ways of beauty throughout '68. It is a quite amazing sound... this is where '68 begins. How could it really though? Its a year... irrelevant. Why define a moment when it shall pass? This show is a blur... a quickened movement, a glimpse of progression, the transcendence of beauty. When you pass through such a moment, you arise anew like the child of sound birthed by the Dead. It lived in fleeting moments. Its face was constant in its change... if you are to see what is represented in such a transtive moment look no further- the lightning bolts of illumination shine quick! The sky bursts into a quick scene of color on January 17, 1968. With unhindered passion as their feet, the music leads them onward into '68. Alas! The beginning of a year! It arose in '65, onward it grew
Reviewer: groovernut - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 11, 2010
Subject: nice show, not the best recording
This is a fun show for sure... No regrets, very early DS fun banter.
Reviewer: sidinparis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 7, 2009
Subject: what hiss?
Having recently discovered treasures such as these, I am grateful to all who created the music and all who have made and continue to make them available.
In comparison with my cases of cassettes of Dead bootlegs of inferior quality that I have listened to in the pre-IA dark ages, the minor imperfections of this recording are insignificant.
Reviewer: goodtimesroll - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 1, 2009
Subject: well i think it sounds amazing
sure theres some hiss and such, but it's really really great stuff and i can't stop listening to it. and the other other one lyrics are always interesting.
Reviewer: Mu-tron - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2009
Subject: PRIMAL!
Great show with the exception of the aforementioned buzz and hiss. But hey what a gift the music is. The Spanish jam is beautiful, but the peak of the recording has to be the post other one cryptical jam into a hot GMLSG. Classic. Other One features the early draft lyrics. Get this one if you love your Dead psychedelic and gooey.
Reviewer: wrkster - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 26, 2009
Subject: vocals & lyrics come through crystal clear......
Jerry's & Bob's guitars come through loud and clear also. Keyboards are clear. Drums are low in the mix. Phil's bass comes through when I push in the loudness button and turn up the bass control on my amp, but its not very defined. There is that annoying buzz that is audible during quiet passages. There is an audible hiss. All in all a very listenable and I think good quality recording given how old it is, it sounds clear. I'm listening at medium volume through a decent 4 speaker system with a pair of tube amps.

Note: the historical references that previous posters added to this show. Oldest live Dark Star on this site & first live China Cat, Born Cross Eyed & Eleven! Killer Spanish Jam too!
Reviewer: Affman64 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2008
Subject: Notes from Phil's book on this show.
In Phil's book "Searching For the Sound" He claims that the Carousel shows where the " Most visionary and exploratory music they had played to date.
The next show at the Carousel was 2/14/68. Cowboy Neil had just died and that show was dedicated to him. they sound so amazing.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 22, 2008
Subject: First China Cat! First Eleven! First Born Cross Eyed!
The Dead roll out a bunch of new material in this historically significant show. The new material is not as well formed as it became later, but it is well played.

The very first China Cat sounds like it it’s in a lower key than on Aoxomoxoa and later, and Jerry's reaching for notes at the bottom of his range. It’s a fast take, and Jerry's playing simply smokes throughout.

We then get a rare China Cat->Eleven transition, and it works well here. This is also the first time they played Eleven. Robert Hunter said that the lyrics of the second half of the Eleven were originally intended for China Cat, so it’s interesting to hear the debuts done this way.

This is the earliest Dark Star here at, a seed of what it would become. The Dead had only played live it twice before at the end of 1967. This version is up-tempo and short, much like the studio single (as in 45 rpm vinal) they released at this time. On the B-side was Born Cross Eyed, played here for the first time. A jamming New Potato precedes it, as on Anthem of the Sun. Cross Eyed slips in to Spanish Jam, which may also be the first time they played it. (It’s the earliest here on Archive.)

The Other One is only a few months old here, and the lyrics are still evolving. It’s a dynamite jam resolving into Little Schoolgirl, another rare transition. Pigpen is in top form on vocals and harp, back to the Dead’s blues roots.

This is an exciting, historically notable show, but is not a great recording. The bass is muddled and the buzz is annoying at times, and there’s a hiss. 1968 isn’t exactly the dawn of the age of recording. Compare to the 1939 Benny Goodman live Carnegie Hall recording or to many of the 1966 Dead recordings.
Reviewer: charlotte240 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 29, 2008
Subject: YESSSS
this is by far my best show to be ridin' in my VW bus blasting it as much as the speakers will take, and then some...

i have made 2 CD's of this already because the other one overheated in the radio wile playing it and it no longer works. for get quality for a minute, this is the height of Pigpen and the boys, and they are raw, a little gritty, but A.W.E.S.O.M.E. !!!

GET THIS AND THE DRIVE TO ANY SHOW... you will never be the same.

thank the good lord for recordings in a time of little technological abilities. How in the hell do we have a recording from 1968?

thank you so much.

if you see a blue and white '77 bus goin down the road, i'm probably jammin' out to this one, hiss and feedback and all.

the last track in the first set is super spectacular, thanks again!
Reviewer: _August_West_ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 14, 2008
Subject: Lovelight
This show is a great show. What I found most interesting about these year starter shows is that generally the Dead are easily categorized by year. Although, the years at times blend into each there are noted stylistic shifts at the beginnings of each year. This show is no exception. Apparently back from an out of town tour, the Dead introduce several new shows at this show to start 68 off. This is a five star show for so many reasons, being a complete show with great quality and the debut of new material at the turn of a new year, to name a few.

Check out my blog where I follow Dead chronologically starting at this year.
Reviewer: Liamfinnegan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2008
Subject: Don't even read the rest of this -1/17/68. A newer uplod to the archive, and the first of this show
All I can say is I m dumbfounded at how good this recording is. All the 68 classics in their glory- crystal clear(for the time)- and all of this coming from an admitted 80's snob. I am having quite a grand time listening to this on a SUnday morning. Stream now, or pay me later...
Reviewer: CommanderCraig - - June 25, 2008
Subject: "Old Speedway Boogie"?
That awful hum suggests that someone on stage is watching the Daytona 500 on TV during the show.
Reviewer: Cliff Hucker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2008
Subject: Four bones!
The sound quality of this file is inferior to that of the shows from the Tour of the Great Northwest, and the jamming here is not nearly as cohesive as the other January/February '68 shows.

That said, the 16 minute Spanish Jam is truly amazing, featuring some extraordinary flamenco interplay...
Reviewer: Eh? - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 8, 2008
Subject: Great Songs from the Past
This performance is well worth a listen. The choice of songs is unusual and the playing is excellent! I would give it 5 stars but there are a few lost bits and although the sound is good, it could be better.
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on 4/14/2008
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